Why Reiss Nelson took our first penalty

Reiss Nelson had been waiting for that moment for three years.

Our Hale End graduate made his senior debut in our 2017 Community Shield win over Chelsea, when we lifted the trophy at the end of a tense shoot-out under Arsène Wenger.

Nelson didn’t get a chance from the spot then but when the opportunity arose this time around, he made sure his hand went up first.

“I really wanted to take a penalty but I think I was 17 at the time and the boss didn’t let me take it, so I said to myself if I ever get the opportunity to take one again then I’ll be the first one and I’ll be confident and just pick a spot and pick it,” he told Arsenal Digital. “I got an opportunity, went to Mikel and said I’ll take it, then I was brave and he let me take it.

“It was a bit weird because the walk is so long, but as I got to the goal it seemed fairly big, so I thought let me just hit it, hit a spot and hope for the best. It went in! It’s a big confidence boost and to start a season like that is very big for all the young players. It’s amazing that we’ve got another trophy and now we need to keep it going throughout the season.

“For me it’s about getting myself in the starting XI. The boss has made a lot of changes and brought a lot of top players into the team and I feel like that can only help us, but I want to fight for my position, be hungry and get a spot in that starting XI.”

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